Editor's note: we've conducted a comprehensive review of AVG's Anti-Virus Free edition, if you'd like to see a more in-depth performance evaluation. This preview serves to highlight the extra protection and new features available to those paying AU$69.99 for the full internet security suite.
This leverages AVG's behavioural detection network to scan known safe files once and only rescan them if it detects changes. As with its competitors, AVG's network is made up of its user base anonymously contributing data up to the cloud. You can choose to opt out of contributing your data when you install or from the options menu. AVG says opting out won't negatively affect your security.
System resource management
The smart scanning tech also gives you a built-in system resource manager that prioritises scans. If a scan is scheduled to begin while the computer is in use, it will automatically restrict the scan so that it runs slower but doesn't interfere with the computer's other tasks. When it detects the computer idling, it will then allocate more power to the scan.
The feature LinkScanner scans links posted on Facebook and MySpace. It adds a green check next to safe links, a red X next to unsafe ones and adds a notice below the link stating that it's been evaluated by AVG.
Concurrent with this new release, AVG has opened a new website called Threat Labs. The site is designed as a click-through landing page for people who want to learn more about the LinkScanner's ratings, but it's also available directly so that non-LinkScanner users can evaluate links on the fly.
The PC Analyzer option is new this year and scans your system for Registry and disk errors. It includes a disk defragmenter and a broken-shortcut cleaner, as well.
This full protection internet suite also offers firewall and anti-spam protections, as well as chat link shield, a download scan for files sent via instant message that looks at all ports, not just port 80. In Australia, the $70 version also gets you telephone support during Australian business hours, in addition to the online forums support being available to users of the free edition.